[See my comment thread below for a partial retraction. It now looks to me as if a paraphrase of Randy Hughes in the DE would indeed allow for the Chancellor's interpretation. I remain sure that Randy Hughes meant what I suggest below that he meant, but that is far from clear from the DE story itself. Whether or not she or her scribe knew better, the Chancellor's version is a plausible reading of the newspaper story itself. She is perhaps guilty of inadequate care in characterizing her opponent's position--particularly if she said, as I thought she did, that a FA leader had been "quoted" as saying this. But that's a more venal sin than that I attribute to her below. I've relegated the controversy I raised to below the break. ]
The Chancellor's rhetoric at her State of the University Speech today was pretty sly on the whole (which I, as a fan of rhetoric, can appreciate). She implied, without every quite explicitly saying as much, that all the unions wanted was more money, and that the only way to get them more money would be to gouge students by increasing tuition. She, on the other hand, had heroically saved jobs, 75 in fact, by cutting salaries, rather than, say, using the furlough money to pay for athletics, new construction on campus, marketing, new "non-faculty professionals" etc. But we've been down this path before, with administrators insisting that money cannot be moved from pot to pot, unless they move it from a bad pot (layoffs) to a less bad pot (furloughs), in which case they are happy to take credit.
Here's where she crossed the line. She said that a member of the FA leadership had said the following to the media. I don't have her transcript and my note taking skills aren't stellar, but this will reflect the substance of the matter: let others correct me if it does not.
"Increased funding from tuition should meet cuts in state funding".
Stripped from any context, and put in her context, this implies that we were advocating tuition hikes to meet cuts in state funding. The FA has never done any such thing. Rather, we were simply commenting that the tuition hike already passed, together with natural increases under the truth in tuition law, meant that already approved tuition hikes would compensate for lost funding this year. "Should" was a prediction of what was going to happen this year, given decisions already taken. It was not a statement about decisions that should be made in order to meet the financial crunch.
Cheng did not supply the exact source of this remark, and I couldn't track it down at once. No doubt someone will (yes, that's a request to you, dear readers). And I will eat my hat if you can find a context in which I or any other member of the FA leadership can be found advocating a tuition hike (yes, that's a challenge, which could result in an ugly video posting on the blog).
You may, if you buy the administration's take on where the money is, argue that to promise faculty and staff any salary level at all (which is essentially all we are "demanding") would result in a tuition hike if the state budget crisis results in huge cuts to SIUC. That is, you may argue that tuition hikes would be a consequence of our position. You'd be wrong. Note that the FA has offered to tie salary hikes to the budget, so that there would be no raises if the budget went south--but you'd have an argument. Note that we are in a coalition with graduate students, who would pay the increased tuition, and so should drop us at once if that's our position. So you'd be making a bad argument. Your conclusion would be false. But you wouldn't be lying.
More later on the State of the University, perhaps. SIUC Unions United has already posted a quick summary.